Mongols Motorcycle Club: Relationship Between OC Biker Gang Leader And Retired Montebello Officer Questioned

SANTA ANA, Calif. (KABC) – Testimony resumed Wednesday morning in a federal courthouse in Orange County for a hearing in which a judge will decide whether the Mongols Motorcycle Club will get a new trial after being found guilty of conspiracy and racketeering in 2018.

Former Mongolian President David Santillan continued to testify.

He is accused of being a confidential informant and working with the government during the Mongols’ trial after his wife, Annie, shared a taped phone conversation in June 2021 with other members of the biker gang calling him a rat.

During the call, Santillan is heard talking about John Cicconne, the lead ATF agent on the case.

However, Annie testified this week, saying she only did it to get back at her husband for cheating.

READ ALSO | Was the leader of the OC biker gang a “rat”? Testimony will help determine if the Mongols get a new trial

On Wednesday, defense attorney Joe Yanny and Santillan discussed Santillan’s relationship with retired Montebello police officer Christopher Cervantes and Ciccone.

“The relationship was just a cordial and respectful relationship just to keep the peace between us and the club,” Santillan said.

The U.S. Attorney’s Office asked him if he is – or ever was – some sort of informant for the ATF or for any state or federal agency.

Santillan replied “Never”.

Yanny played a clip from a segment of the National Geographic show about Mongols in court as evidence of their relationship.

Ciccone said that whenever he was working on a Mongol event and there was a risk of trouble or violence, he would go to Santillan because he is the president of the Mongols and he can take the message to his members.

He said their communication was for public safety and showed the Mongols that there was an ATF presence at their events.

Yanny said they had more than the occasional run-in.

“It was an inappropriate line of communication, especially for a law enforcement member trying to have an entity convicted as a criminal organization,” Yanny said.

Testimony will resume on Friday July 22 at 7:30 a.m.

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